Johannesburg, South Africa – July 4, 2022: Deloitte Africa announced that it would be bolstering its sustainability and climate capabilities as part of its continued commitment to its purpose of ‘making an impact that matters’ – for its employees, clients, and society.
Ruwayda Redfearn, Deloitte Africa Chief Executive Officer said, “we are investing in our sustainability and climate capabilities from both a talent and take-to-market solution offering perspective, because we are committed to supporting our clients along their environmental, societal, and governance (ESG) journey. We have recently appointed Ashleigh Theophanides as our first Chief Sustainability Officer for Deloitte Africa, she will sit on our executive committee to ensure this focus is embedded in every facet of our firm”.
In addition, Mark Victor, the Deloitte Africa Sustainability and Climate Market offering leader confirmed that, “Building upon decades of sustainability work across Africa within the areas of sustainability and ESG, Deloitte Africa has developed an integrated firm wide Sustainability and Climate market offering that delivers an end to end set of solutions to our clients across the continent, leveraging the power of our strategy, climate advisory, social impact, and reporting and assurance capabilities.” The Africa strategy is part of the Deloitte global priority focus which is assembling one of the largest global networks of sustainability experience including an investment of US$1 billion in client-related services, data-driven research, and assets and capabilities.
This investment includes the development of the Deloitte Centre for Sustainable Progress (DCSP), which will be accessible by Deloitte professionals as they support organisations to transform at scale. In collaboration with leading academic, policy, business, and governmental organisations, the DCSP network will focus on holistic, results-oriented thought leadership, data driven analysis, and accountability reporting to guide organisations through their sustainability journeys.
Deloitte will also build on its efforts of empowering individuals and engaging ecosystems as part of its internal WorldClimate strategy by offering a robust curriculum of sustainability training courses to all 345,000 professionals along with its clients and suppliers. The curriculum will be offered virtually and through the network of Deloitte Universities.
The Deloitte Sustainability & Climate practice will continue to support clients as they redefine their strategies, embed sustainability into their operations and help them accelerate transformation of their organisations – enabling them to meet all ESG reporting requirements.
“Together we can create a better future, this will however require relentless collaboration and innovation along with radical and immediate changes to behaviour and attitude. It is now about taking action, assisting transformation across the ecosystem – of suppliers, clients, customers, policymakers, alliance partners across industries and the societies in which we operate,” said Theophanides.
She added by saying that Mark Victor will continue to lead Deloitte Africa’s client advisory and solutions offerings as the firms ESG lead – supported by a network of sustainability and ESG professionals across the continent.
Victor and the team have done extensive research with clients – which has identified decarbonisation of their production process as a top ESG priority, while Victor notes that the “deep dive” conversations highlighted a wide range of issues and possible solutions across the industries and sectors.
Issues such as the management of waste and the long-term impact of the production and use of products across players within the telecoms, media, and technology sectors. Additionally, the importance of digital transformation being highlighted in the government and public sector.
The heightened focus speaks to the unveiling of Deloitte’s World Climate Strategy in 2021, in which the company committed itself to science-based net-zero with 2030 goals – living by example. Deloitte teams in South Africa have moved into environmentally friendly buildings in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. The firm has also reduced business travel and is putting in place other solutions – such as use of sustainable materials in its operations ensuring that all buildings have zero waste going to landfills through onsite recycling. Furthermore, as part of the firms WorldClimate initiative, thousands of trees have recently been planted across countries in the Africa member firm as part of its Earth Month initiatives.
“Acting now is imperative, and it will take all of us to play our part in driving sustainable and measurable change. We as Deloitte Africa have the capabilities, talent, and resources to make an impact that matters – delivering on our commitment to accelerating progress on the UN Sustainability Development Goals and commitments of the Paris Agreement. Together, we can transform behaviour and shift mindsets,” concluded Theophanides